Toronto Raptors (4-3) @ Utah Jazz (5-3)
When: Friday, November 3rd 9 P.M. ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena
Broadcast info: SN1, SN590
The Raptors won last season’s series against the Jazz, 2-0. In their previous meeting, a Jan. 5 match up at the Air Canada Centre, Kyle Lowry scored 16 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Raptors pull off a 101-93 victory. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 13 rebounds in the comeback victory. It was the second time Lowry had a huge fourth to lead the Raptors to a win against the Jazz last season; a month earlier, he scored 19 of his 36 points in the fourth to earn a 104-98 victory in Utah.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT
The gang’s all here: Wednesday’s loss in Denver is a game that everyone wants to forget, but the one positive was that everyone on the roster was available to suit up. Jonas Valanciunas (left ankle sprain) and Serge Ibaka (knee swelling) each returned to the lineup and Toronto’s current injury report is empty.
One more to go: With five games down, Toronto wraps up its season-high six-game road trip in Utah on Friday. With Wednesday’s loss against the Nuggets, the Raptors are 2-3 on the current west coast swing and would like to return to Toronto with a victory and an even road split.
Lowry looking for a repeat performance: Kyle Lowry had two of his best performances of the season last year against Jazz. In Toronto’s two victories, Lowry averaged 34.5 points per contest, including 17.5 in the fourth quarter as he led Toronto to come-from-behind victories in each. Extending beyond last season, Lowry has topped 30 points in four of his last five games against the Jazz.
International match: Friday’s contest against the Jazz features the two teams with the most international players on their rosters facing off. Utah and Toronto each have seven international-born players on their rosters. For Toronto: OG Anunoby (United Kingdom), Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira ( Brazil), Serge Ibaka (Spain), Jakob Poeltl (Austria), Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) and Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania). For Utah: Dante Exum and Joe Ingles ( Australia), Raul Neto (Brazil), Rudy Gobert (France), Ricky Rubio (Spain), Jonas Jerebko (Sweden) and Thabo Sefolosha (Switzerland).
College days: Though the six-game trip has been a grind for everyone, closing things out in Utah has been nice for Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright. The Raptors teammates first became teammates playing at the University of Utah during the 2015-16 season where they helped the Utes reach the Sweet 16.
Highlight reel: Though there wasn’t much to celebrate in Toronto’s loss in Denver on Wednesday, Norman Powell had an early highlight when he drove to the basket from the three-point line, exploding for the slam dunk that got everybody on their feet: